Jan 28, 2014

sunday ride...

took a ride to thomasville this past sunday to attend the year update for instructors. i was anxious to get back on the bike since i've been busy, it's been cold and i haven't had a chance to do much riding this year. well, it was cold sunday but i didn't let that stop me - at least it was supposed to be sunny.

i bundled up with a few layers and my electric gear. even though it was below freezing when i took off, it wasn't as bad as i expected. i started out on back roads, in the dark, scanning for patches of ice. i was a bit surprised at how clean the roads were.

on my way, i was surprised at how much colder it was once i got off the back roads and hit the interstate. i would have figured once i got onto the highway and away from what little shade there was that early in the morning, the temps would have been warmed. i guess the concrete kept it cold.

first stop was waffle house to catch up with a fellow instructor and head out to thomasville. after a quick breakfast and some hot coffee, we bundled up and headed out.

before leaving, i had forgotten to put the location into my gps - not that i didn't know where i was going, i just like to keep tabs on my travel. earlier in the year i deleted all the way points make navigating the cape fear 1000 a bit easier. now i'm cruising down the road, trying to fat finger my gps with heavy gloves.

now i love my gps. it's rugged and it serves me well. but... it leaves a lot to be desired in the search category. as i'm fumbling with finding the college, moving the alphabet slider, punching the wrong letters, trying to nail the backspace icon in the upper right corner, i keep thinking about the +Skully Helmets ar-1.

how cool would it be to just be able to speak and find your location without removing your hands from the grips? no more looking down as you're fumbling with the location. it's all there, right in front of you, just an eyes-shift away. not only that, but with the rear-facing camera and being on the highway, it'd be a heck of a lot easier to keep track of traffic. i'm in the habit of always using my mirrors and scanning all around. but it's inevitable that you lose a vehicle somewhere and end up wrenching your head around trying to find it again. that one-eighty degree field of view would certainly help in those situations.

we made it to the update, caught up with many friends and got the usual comments about being crazy for riding in the cold. everyone was talking about driving in their cages and being able to turn on the heat. i'd just pick up the cord for my heated gear and say 'me too.'

i will admit it was cold on on the way there. but not as cold as some days i've ridden. and the ride home definitely made it all worth it. what am i saying? it could have been just as cold on the way home and it would have been worth it!!! but the ride home was absolutely beautiful. great temps, sunny, just cutting a trail home.

we did have to make one stop to pick up some foam for my friend's wife. the girl at the fabric outlet thought we were crazy. but it's just another day motorcycling!!

check out the route on the 2014 ride map...

Jan 24, 2014

skully ar-1 beta tester...

a few weeks ago i applied to be a beta tester for skully's ar-1 helmet. the helmet features a heads-up display and rear-facing camera. the rear-facing camera has a 180 degree viewing angle, which means not only do you see what's behind you, you can also see to the sides. with a viewing angle like that, your blind spot is greatly reduced. in addition to seeing the the rear-facing camera in the heads-up display, a gps map is displayed. there are two versions of the map - a simplified version and a detailed version for driving directions.

today i received an email saying they've received my application and am being considered as a tester. skully will begin notifying candidates of their selection in february. it might be a bit early to start holding my breath, but i can always hope.

Jan 23, 2014

black box legislation...

Lately, we've had a lot to be concerned about when it comes to protecting our privacy. Our Government unwittingly gaining access to our information. Stores not protecting our information as we would trust them to. So much of our personal information is out there and so many entities are trying to get access to it. Some of that probably pieces of information you didn't even know were being collected.
If you watch any news, you know that when there's a plane crash one of the first things they do is get the Black Box - the flight data recorder. Did you know your car most likely has a Black Box - an event data recorder? And did you know there's indecision about who owns the data collected by the Black Box? You think you do. The insurance company thinks they do. The auto manufacturer thinks they do.
Recently Senators John Hoeven and Amy Klobuchar introduced S.1926 Driver Privacy Act, which would make the property owner or lessee of the motor vehicle the owner of information collected by the Black Box.
The +American Motorcyclist Association is working to ensure motorcycles are included in this legislation. Granted, right now, it's not common for motorcycles to have event recorders. But you never know when it will become common-place. And why wait until then?
Head on over to the AMA web site and let your senator know you want motorcycles included in the legislation.

Jan 13, 2014

international motorcycle show...

took the opportunity to attend the international motorcycle show in washington this weekend... we usually attend the show in charlotte but they're not having it there this year. so, i dragged the family up to dc for the show.

with the parking situation in dc and the rain, we decided to take metro to the convention center. of course this thrilled my son because he likes train rides. he's been on the metro before but he was so young he doesn't remember. he was really looking forward to the transition from above ground to underground.

when we boarded the metro, i'd say at least seventy five percent of the passengers were heading to the motorcycle show. not hard to tell the ones heading to the show, wearing all sorts of motorcycle clothing, from hats, to shirts, to coats. if you didn't know where the convention center was, all you needed to do was follow the crowd. while on the ride to the convention center, we met a new friend who happens to be from our home town. we talked the whole ride and hung out together for a majority of the morning. looking forward to catching up with him again.

we tried to get to the show early, although we weren't trying to get there before the doors opened. when we did get there, the place was already packed.

as soon as we walked in progressive had a huge display and a slot car track. well, we couldn't pass up the chance to race before getting into the show...

then it was on to the show... seeing the bikes and talking to the people. first stop was the bike collection ad talking to someone from the vintage japanese motorcycle club... one guy had this beautiful restored honda. i spoke to him a while about the restoration and how i was hoping to one day be able to bring one or two back to life...

of course there were a couple vintage english bikes...

the highlight of the show was probably seeing the guys from the xdl championship series. we saw them last year at the show in charlotte and really enjoyed it. my son got a t-shirt and had the riders sign it. when we found out they were going to be at this show, he grabbed his shirt and brought it along. when the guys began their show, he held up the shirt and got a shout out from them. he was so thrilled.

after the show my son got some autographs for his shirt and also got an invitation to sit in the vip section for the next show.

and finally some bikes and other sites from the show...

that's about it. it was a great day and a great way to spend time with my wife and son...

Jan 1, 2014


i was watching the odometer on my last ride, which was also that last ride of 2013. it was chilly, i had my heated gear and it was late at night. my mind kept going back and forth between taking a slight detour to add a few miles or just squeezing in one final ride to cross over 55k.

as you can see, neither happened and i start the year with a shade under 55k. i feel confident i'll make that on my first ride.

i start the new year, looking forward to the rides and the adventures that are ahead. there will be the familiar rides and tours: smoke chasing, smoke out, rolling thunder. an, ride for kids. however, with the timing of easter, i'll most likely miss the cape fear 1000 this year.

this year will also be the year of learning and improving. this month i'm scheduled to take the quality assurance training for the state motorcycle program as well as the harley davidson motorcycling academy continuous improvement workshop. on a personal level, i want to improve my riding skills and plan to set some time aside for personal practice.

finally, i'm recommitting myself to keeping this blog up to date. i seem to start the year strong and then let go about half-way through the year. i'm also thinking about adding some product reviews based on my personal, hands-on experience with different products.

so, we'll see how this year goes...